What Do I Look For in the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

I want to get drop dead gorgeous porcelain veneers. My aunt, who’s filthy rich, asked me what I dream about. I told her having a smile which doesn’t embarrass me. Then she handed me a blank check and said. “Go go it.” She was serious, too. I burst into tears. Now that I have this dream as a possibility, I want to do it right. How do I go about finding the best cosmetic dentist?

Thank you,
LeeAnne

Dear LeeAnne,

A single porcelain veneer being held by a dental tool

How exciting! You have a very generous aunt. You’re also wise to be doing research before investing in a permanent smile. I’m sorry you’ve spent your life feeling embarrassed about your smile. If it’s any consolation about half of all Americans feel the same way.

When it comes to finding the best cosmetic dentist, there are three skills that are of equal importance.

  • Technical Skill
  • An Artistic Eye
  • Empathy

The first one always makes sense to patients. Of course you want a dentist with the skill to do the procedure, but what do artistry and empathy have to do with it?

Creating a beautiful smile is like creating a work of art. Two artists can have the same subject and their painting will turn out completely different depending on their level of artistry. The same is true with porcelain veneers. The dentist has to understand how facial shape, smile width, subtleties of color, and shape of the teeth all work together to create a portrait of sorts.

Empathy is equally important. You sort of explained why during your question. You have lived with a smile that you’ve been ashamed of your whole life. You want one to be proud of. You need a cosmetic dentist who understands this is about how YOU feel about the results. Not how he feels. You don’t want a dentist who lets pride in his “creation” get in the way of giving you your dream smile.

How Do You Find the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

The easiest way to locate a skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist is through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com). They have an accreditation program to separate the sheep from the goats. With no offense intended to goats. They have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrate artistry in a list of recent cases they’ve completed. Bear in mind that being a member and being an accredited member are different.

Not everyone has an accredited dentist near them and there are some fantastic dentists on their way toward accreditation that just haven’t finished yet. It’s a long process. In that case, check out the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend skilled artistic dentists by zip code and the distance you’re willing to travel.

But what about empathy? How do you measure that ahead of time? I’d suggest two things. First, check their reviews. What type of experience have other patients had with them. Second, make sure they have some sort of beautiful smile guarantee. By that I don’t mean a smile they think is beautiful, but one YOU love. Check out Dr. Cha’s guarantee to see what I mean.

I hope this helps!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.